Jun 4, 2011
We have a double video feature for this weekend. Legend has it Wing Chun was practiced on a table top to train its practitioners balance and fighting in closed spaces.
The acclaimed 1981 Hong Kong movie The Prodigal Son plays on this theme by having Wing Chun grandmasters Leung Yee Tai (the browless master in the clip) teaching Leung Jan (the shirtless apprentice) with Wong Wah Boh (the rotund master) watching on. Leung Jan is the teacher of Yip Man's teacher Chan Wah Shum. This Wing Chun lineage tree may make the relationships between these old masters clearer (though different schools have different versions of the lineage tree).
The second video has Leung Yee Tai pitted against a Southern Dragon (Lung Ying) master (yellow robed) which gives this post its title. Both videos are dubbed in English.
Are the videos realistic depiction of how a Wing Chun fight might look like? For one, the screen movements stop for a split second when executed, this is probably a cinematic technique to allow movie audiences to discern the kung fu moves. In other words, it is freeze framing done manually by the actors.
In actual combat, Wing Chun should be very fast and flowing and the techniques likely undiscernible to the untrained eye. Also, the hop steps are not Wing Chun kicks, at least in the more traditional schools. In these schools the kicks slide along the ground instead for better stability. In the next few videos, we will explore the mysterious Southern Dragon style a bit more.